Continuing our policy of bringing some gaiety into our lives, especially in these grey days of Brexit grief, here is yet another of Julie Spencer's bright and gay Impressionist paintings of our city. This is her Autumn Rain, Bunda Street.
If we were able by time travel and by magic to give some of the great Impressionists a go at capturing Canberra with the panache with which they captured Paris then they'd come up with works something like Spencer's.
Too many people who paint Canberra paint it as if it has no people in it, as a kind of Aussie Chernobyl from which people have fled, leaving it to the parrots and the gum trees. But it's another of Spencer's virtues that her painted Canberra has actual Canberrans in it. M16 Artspace, about to stage an exhibition of her works, says that "Her paintings ask 'Who are these people? Where are they going? And why?'"
Yes, where is this lady in red going? She looks as if she may be stalking ACT Liberal leader Jeremy Hanson, but if so why is she stalking him?
Julie Spencer's show Painting The Town By Night opens on Thursday, July 7, and continues until Sunday July 24. For precise opening days and hours go to M16's website www.m16artspace.com.au\
Meanwhile, also as part of our mission of cheering up Canberra, Tuesday's column played with puns derived from crooner Dean Martin's ridiculously popular hit song That's Amore.
We ran a picture of a sign at Lyons Shops with a sketch of a giant eel and the words "When an eel swims on by and it touches your thigh that's a Moray."
Reader George Fane, his memory jogged by this, reports that "In the days when Bobby Zamora played football for London club Fulham there was this popular chant of the Fulham fans – one of the most dedicated of whom was [and still is] my stepson, Simon."
When the ball's in the goal That's not Shearer or Cole [two contemporary stars], That's Zamora!
And while on football, Iceland is so newsworthy at the moment and its name is on lips everywhere thanks to its magical feats of soccer underdoggery at Euro 2016.
So we are reminded that there has been a campaign among Icelanders to give the nation a new, less forbidding and less tourist-repelling name. After all, what if we had named Australia after its meteorology and had called it, say, Droughtland or Dryasadeaddingosdongerland?
This columnist can remember how when my visit to Iceland came up in conversation people marvelled that anyone would bother to visit what sounded like an iceberg bobbing about in bleak northern oceans.
One legend is that Iceland was given its name in anger by a ninth century Viking Hrafna-Floki who had tried to successfully settle there. In a bleak winter all the settlers' livestock died and Hrfana-Floki in a fury raged (in Old Norse) something like "This [expletive deleted] place is just a [expletive deleted] ice land, and I can't wait to [expletive deleted] off out of here!"
He and his settlers eventually left in a frostbitten huff and the epithet he spat out in anger has remained velcroed to the island nation.
When in 2013 Promote Iceland launched a competition to rename Iceland suggestions poured in. They included Endless Night Land, Best Country to Grow a Beard Land and, understandably for Iceland's knitwear is as classy as its football team, Awesome Jumper Land.
Readers, what if we were able to choose a better name for our dear island home, this Amazing Swimsuit Land? After all "Australia" is just from the Latin "Australis" meaning "southern". Surely there is more to our sunny homeland than that when this great big piece of Heaven fell into the sea one day (the angels deciding "Let's leave it, it looks so peaceful there.") it fell somewhere in the south?
Meanwhile our beloved Amazing Swimsuit Land is suffering an election campaign. Earlier this week we reported how computer-generated words (done for the hearing impaired) in a recent TV news bulletin delighted a reader by coming up with "Knickers on a frond." This was the best the computer could do with the household name of electioneering "Nick Xenophon."
Frivolously we noted that the computer's words reminded that the Fern Gully of the Australian National Botanic Gardens is a famous trysting place for lovers. Love among the fronds.
But those lovers may be in for a shock, especially at night, if they don't follow the news (being reported here, now) that a scary Stegosaurus [pictured] has just arrived at the Gardens. It has come there, surely knocking down some fences and scaring some cats on the way, from the National Dinosaur Museum.
A Gardens' spokeswoman tells us that this brute (and some prehistoric others) is in place for the school holiday Prehistoric Garden Week from July 2 to July 10.
Dinosaurs will be found among the landscapes they once inhabited, places with "living fossil" plants.
"Visitors can choose to see the dinosaurs in the light of day or test their courage with a night-time adventure during our public open nights or Gondwana night tours," the Gardens' event manager Jennifer Salkeld said.
"The surreal atmosphere created by illuminating the dinosaurs against the darkness will challenge the bravest of children."
Children who want to book for the week's events (and would-be lovers who want to be forewarned), can find out all about Prehistoric Garden Week via the Gardens' website. http://www.parksaustralia.gov.au/botanic-gardens/do/whats-on.html